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Police search for killer of retired dean shot near Vermont campus

Honoree Fleming, a 77-year-old retired dean of education at Vermont State University, was found dead on a trail near her home last Thursday.
Honoree Fleming, retired dean and professor at Vermont State University.
Posted at 1:46 PM, Oct 11, 2023

Students and residents in a small college town have been asked to help police as they search for a person suspected of fatally shooting a retired dean while she was walking on a trail near Vermont State University's Castleton campus last week.

Honoree Fleming, a 77-year-old retired dean of education and wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers, was found dead on a trail near her home in Castleton last Thursday. A medical examiner determined she was killed by a gunshot wound.

"Our hearts go out to the members of our community who taught with Honoree and had her as a beloved teacher during their time at Castleton," the university said in a statement posted on Facebook. 

As of Monday, no one has been arrested but authorities said they are searching for a "person of interest," described as a White male with red hair, approximately 5'10" tall, who was last seen wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack.  

"The suspect is considered armed and dangerous," police said in a statement. "The public is urged to remain vigilant and alert for suspicious person(s) and activities and to report anything suspicious to the Vermont State Police at 802-773-9101. Tips also may be submitted anonymously online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit." 

Authorities said they are still working to identify a motive for the killing, but it remains unclear whether the surrounding community is in any further danger. 

"Public assistance remains a vital component of this case," police said. "And the state police continues to request that anyone with relevant information, or those who were on the D&H Rail Trail between 3-5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, and have yet to speak with a detective, call the Vermont State Police."